Parents Charged After 7-Year-Old Son Found Allegedly Trying to Sell His Stuffed Animal for Food

Yahoo: Tammy and Michael Bethel of Ohio have been charged with five counts each of child endangerment, after their 7-year-old son was found outside a local drug store allegedly trying to sell his teddy bear for food.
Police tell NBC’s WLWT-5 that they received a call on Sunday that the young boy was wondering downtown area of Franklin, Ohio, alone.

When officer Steve Dunham found the boy, he said he was peddling his stuffed animal so that he could eat. The boy reportedly told Dunham he hadn’t eaten in several days.

“It broke my heart,” Dunham told the news station.

The officer then took the child to a nearby Subway restaurant, where the two “said a little prayer and ate dinner together” before returned to the Franklin Police Department.  MORE

15 Comments on Parents Charged After 7-Year-Old Son Found Allegedly Trying to Sell His Stuffed Animal for Food

  1. Something smells about this story. When I was policing, if I’d found a hungry seven year old wandering alone I promise I wouldn’t have taken him to Subway first. The story reads too much like a PR stunt.

  2. There were a 15 year old and 17 year old in the house. What were they doing? Were they starving? You’d think they would have at least tried to look after the younger ones. 🙁

  3. “The Bethels – who are parents to three other boys – did not realize their 7-year-old son was not in the house, according to the Journal News.”

    “Child services authorities have placed the other children – ages 11, 12, 15 and 17 – with relatives.”


    And WTF a 15 and 17 year old in the house…were they busy playing video game or what?

    Something just doesn’t sound right.

  4. The kid was hungry.

    I’ve had a couple of kids in this neighborhood come begging for food. And this ain’t the ghetto. But apparently it is. Nice houses, nice yards, nice cars, and a few crackheads. I mean, this shit is normal in methhead trailer parks, and the inner city… but it’s an extra shock to get it in the manicured suburbs.

  5. I’m the guy with the 1982 MB diesel, the 1973 Beetle, and the 1994 Suburban… and the kids come to me for food.

    There’s something seriously wrong with the world.

  6. I was in similar circumstances when I was a bitty kid. The parents were selfish as fuck – and nothing trickled down. I thought one piece of bread with ketchup and mustard on it was manna from heaven. I weighed 68 pounds when I was a few months shy of my 13th birthday.

  7. @Shaunqueefus:

    I make the exact same salary, down to the penny, as every other non-supervisory employee in my department at work. Yet somehow, I am the go-to person for loans. And I don’t mean small ones either. It’s never that someone was a doofus in the a.m. and needs lunch money because he left the wallet at home, or was pickpocketed en route to work. It’s always hundreds of dollars to keep the lights turned on or the phone connected or get the transmission fixed, or thousands for the kid’s tuition bill. One sonofabitch wanted me to cosign a mortgage for a $650,000 house because “my (meaning his) credit sucks.” I told him he’d have to put a ring on it first.

    WTF is wrong with these people? I am struggling like everyone else. I have had to develop a little speech for these occasions. It goes something like this: “I had to take the same exam you did and wait on the same list you did to get this job, which pays the same salary you make. Why do you think I can help you?” Then they start with WellifIdon’tget$500by Thursdaythenthey’regoingtoturnoffmy……” That’s my cue to say, “I’m sorry to hear you’re having financial difficulties, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to solve them without my assistance.”

    Shaunqueefus, a tie-breaking question: Have you been diagnosed with “white privilege” tecently?

  8. @Yonkers; What has happened to this country? I’m retired now after working at more than 20 different jobs, (never found one satisfying for long). But anyway, I never asked anyone for money and nobody ever asked me for money.
    It just wasn’t done. People had pride, knew how to manage their money or just suffered in silence.

  9. Kelli, surely you’ve noticed that blacks do not seem to be intrinsically competent at money management?

    I am one of few white employees at my workplace. I am also one of the few who don’t take trips to Las Vegas or Disney World, or have smart phones, weaves, or acrylics. No wonder I have money left the day before payday.

  10. Eh, I live in Butler County, and Middletown is the toilet of the county.

    That said, Butler County CSP is generally awful. They’ve got a few good folks, but overall…

    Also, this kid reminds me of my son. Just yesterday, he threw a verbal fit because I would not buy him fast food.

    “I’m hungry; I want real food.”

    “We have bread, peanut butter, jelly, eggs, milk, cereal, pasta, rice, veggies… You’re not gonna starve.”

    “Well, I don’t want that.”

    “Then go to bed hungry.”


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